Friday, February 20, 2009

Cita Cita, Marunouchi (丸ビル5階)

How many Citas does it take to screw in a light bulb? How many dollars will it take to save Citabank? Hopefully it's only 2, because the Soho Restaurant Group has only one outlet of this marque (the group also includes Roy's, Xen and other Roppongi Hillz dwellerz). On a dark and rainy day when we ventured all the way down to Maru Biru only to find a solid 15-person line outside The Papaya Leaf, Cita Cita's 2 citas more than met the demand for pan-Asian ethnic cuisine.

The 5th floor of Maru Biru also hosts Labyrinthe, West Park Cafe, Kua Aina and that nice-looking casual Italian place near the escalators. Cita Cita is near Kua Aina and the 'outdoor' seating area. They're going for a sort of 'darkly elegant Southeast Asian' theme, and it's done fairly well - the black and red entry, big flowers, and long communal table in the front are good. The table in the back are a bit more worn, and the atmosphere feels crowded and rushed, but you'll survive. Like the pre-cut sushi I had yesterday, the lunch rush forces certain sacrifices, and we're all part of the problem.

I like the menu, let me put it out there before I sound too grumpy. They have full-meal options from Y800 to Y1500, and between the 5 of us we ordered almost everything. At the low end, Choco had the Healthy Salad Plate, which was a big mound of Chinese-style cold chicken (steamed, with lots of cartilege still in and chopped onions on top, you know?) and some other salads - substantial quantity for the Healthy option. At the high end, The Zone had the Y1500 Gai Yang, which was more exotically-spiced than any roast chicken I've ever had in Thailand, but equally was very juicy. In between, Wolf and Ponyo and I had meat/curry/rice options that were all Y1250 and fairly authentic (at least the green curry was, and none of the sweetness that plagued Bamboo).

Bottom line, a very tolerable establishment, especially when the more well-known place across the floor is packed to overflowing!

Delicate scent of lotus blossoms, right this way:

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